Franklin County (pop. 11,549) is east of Gulf County, along the Gulf of Mexico. It is Florida’s third-least-populous county.
It is one of 25 Franklin counties, and one of 23 named for Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).
Much of the county is in Tate’s Hell State Forest, where the wildlife includes bald eagles, Florida black bears, and gopher tortoises.
According to legend, the area was named for a local farmer who got lost in the swamp for seven days and nights in 1875. His dying words were, “My name is Cebe Tate, and I just came from Hell.”
During World War II, inland Franklin County was used for jungle training, and the beaches and islands were used for amphibious training.
The county seat of Franklin County is the city of Apalachicola (pop. 2,231). The city reached its peak population of 3,268 in 1940.
The word “Apalachicola” was apparently derived from the same Native American tribe, in the Florida Panhandle, that gave the Appalachian Mountains their name.
The John Gorrie Museum in Apalachicola honors Dr. Gorrie, a pioneer in the field of air conditioning and refrigeration. He received the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.
Apalachicola is the traditional center of Florida’s oyster fishery. The city has hosted the Florida Seafood Festival for 51 years.
East of Apalachicola, the city of Carrabelle (pop. 2,778) is the home of the Crooked River Light (1895).
Bald Point State Park is at the eastern end of the county.
NEXT: LIBERTY COUNTY